From: Irene M Peace
SPECIALLYMUSIC12th June 2013
West Park Closure
Dear Councillor Wakefield,
“The Forgotten Ones”, “The Homeless Ones”, “The Faceless Ones”.
All of these can apply to YAMSEN and all its members since Leeds City Council at a stroke, without thought for the “users”, on Friday 2nd November 2012 at 4.00 p.m. announced the immediate closure of West Park Centre. This was supposedly a ”temporary” measure because the ‘electrics were unsafe’. Now, seven months later we at YAMSEN are still homeless even though the cost for repairs to the electrics is, I understand, well within the capability of the Council’s budget irrespective of government cuts. The longer the centre remains empty the greater the risk of vandalism and the possibility of further costs.
What does this closure mean to us? Remember that we provide a large and varied amount of experience in music and associated activity to many hundreds of children and adults with moderate and profound learning disabilities throughout Leeds and Yorkshire.
We have a large amount of specialised and valuable equipment and instruments scattered (for safe keeping) in a lock up in Holbeck, various schools and private houses – all most inconvenient. In spite of this, like the true professionals we are, our excellent work continues. Neither have we allowed our annual programme of events to be affected (and these are many) nor our weekly classes, choir rehearsals and workshops. We have achieved this through hiring rooms attached to different churches and a social club – all at considerable expense to us.
Why? Because we believe in our aims and we speak for all those many hundreds we serve who cannot speak for themselves.
All we ask is for West Park Centre to re-open both for YAMSEN and the many other community groups who, like us, have made it their home for very many years.
West Park has excellent facilities for all users – large rehearsal/performance rooms, adequate storage, smaller rooms for classes and other activities, disabled toilets, large free car parking area and the centre is geographically well situated for all users.
I hope that as a councillor elected to work on behalf of the community as a whole you will give this request your serious consideration.
I remainYours sincerely
President and founder member YAMSEN